Friday, August 31, 2012

4th Birthday Trash Bash!

At two, Max loved Elmo.  At three, his heart's desire was to be a construction worker.  For the last six months, though, he's declared he wants to be a trash man. So, for his fourth birthday party, we got "trashy."

The invitation:
I couldn't find any trash/recycling party invitations--go figure!--so I made my own. Max helped color my hand drawn trash trucks.  The actual invitation was a torn up flap from a cardboard box. Who needs an envelope when you can use a brown paper bag? We just stuffed the torn away paper that was not glued to the cardboard in the sack before sealing it.  It was a trash party, after all!

The decor:
Decorating doesn't get much cheaper than this. Everything was free.
Party brought to you by Maximus Enterprises
My husband and I kept wanting to pick up items that we'd left out on purpose.
How great that we can leave trash around and it's party decor?!

My parents and grandparents donated newspapers to have them "upcycled" into party decor.
I couldn't believe how much trash my family generated once I paid attention. So glad we recycle!
A trash party needs a flyswatter, right? These flowers were purchased at Dollar Tree--two for $1.
Beautiful tissue paper balls have been on the blogosphere for years now.  I decided to try them with newspaper and glam up our trash bash. I am not crafty, so I'm still impressed that I pulled these off. SO, SO easy! I'll post a tutorial later.***Update! Here's the how-to post!***

Those strings were attached to balloons.

Nothing says party like trash in crystal, don't ya think?

Those scraps of paper on the table are facts about recycling. For example, "Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours. In spite of this, Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild our entire commercial fleet of airplanes every three months!"

The food:
 What's a trash party without junk food?

Disposable casserole containers that had been taking up space in my cabinets were ideal serving dishes.
A new trash can served as an ice bucket and we served non-alcoholic "trash can punch." Check out the recipe.

This beautiful platter is made from a recycled aluminum can. No kidding!

I bought the rats and "take out" containers from Dollar Tree--both 3/$1

Check out my shirt! Our family each wore trash truck shirts with the image from the invitations.

The activities:

Dumpster Diving! Due to rain, our den became the dump.  I set out trashbags and boxes full of newspaper and recyclables. The kids chose a box--the dumpster--and dove in to retrieve candy and robot grabber arms.

The beauty of this game was that they made the mess and then used the arms to pick it up and put it in the trash can. 

 As any good trash man knows, if you want to do it need a truck!
The amazing Josh Hutchins, owner of Tahlequah Recycling, Inc. agreed to bring Kermit, the recycling truck, for a visit.  What a nice guy! 
party guests who braved the camera
 The kids loved it.

So did the adults.
Garrett getting trashy

Max was in awe.

 I was disappointed the rain made it an "inside" party, but Max was thrilled he got to wear his galoshes!
Max treated both the truck and Mr. Hutchins with reverence. He kept his distance from both. He was the only kid who didn't sit in the seat and honk the horn.
One of Max's birthday buddies. They were born just hours apart!
But he did dump some recycling in the back of the truck. 
Loading the recycling truck is a great trick to get all that trash out of the house!

 Look at those faces! Who thinks TRI could have a side gig with birthday parties?

 Seriously, how much longer can we convince children that cleaning up is a game?!

The amazing Mr. Hutchins and Kermit show the kids how to crunch and smash boxes.

Even the little guy enjoyed the mess.

The cake:
Our birthday boy loves strawberry cake...and cookies...and ice cream...and shakes....

Reasor's bakery did a great job, don't ya think?

Max was crying because his little friend had just told him she was going to take home the trash truck from his cake. He freaked out.  What kind of mother laughs so hard when her child is clearly traumatized? At his own birthday party, no less!

blowing out the candles
Baby J loving some cake

Oh, yeah. That was one happy baby boy.
Party favors:
The kids took home the robot arm trash grabbers, candy from the dumpster dive, and cookies!
Max just discovered Morgan's Bakery's curly q's, so we sent one home with everyone.

It was a fun time. Even the little ones approved!
Baby Alexandra and Dad 
 Party Inspiration:
Cakes Like a Party: Oh my goodness. When I saw this, I knew we had to try. I showed the pictures to Max and there was no going back! His excitement lasted for months.
BellaGrey Designs: These invitations inspired the wording on Max's. Aren't they adorable? Check out the party with all of the design elements. This party has a little more of the icky idea of trash.

Getting "trashy" and recycling was a lot of fun!


  1. Brandi, These are such clever and "do-able" ideas! I think the absolute best parties for kids are the ones in which they have a hand in planning and carrying out. (Loved the pic of Alexandra! She's a doll.)

  2. Thanks, Dee Dee. I agree. We had fun working on little projects together. The party was a lot of fun. And noisy. Boy, was it noisy.

  3. It was loud but o-so fun! You did such an amazing job planning Max's trash bash!!

    1. Oh my goodness, it was loud! Thanks for helping me put the final touches on the party. We loved having Max's birthday buddies and their family there!

  4. I have missed following your blog Brandi- great fun getting caught up in all of the magic of your life! Love the pictures from your trashy party!